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Hemp Grain Harvest & Storage Tips for PIHG Growers

Please keep in mind the following guidelines when harvesting your hemp grain to fill your Parkland Industrial Hemp Growers production contract:

Clean, clean, clean! It is crucial that you use a clean combine, clean trucks, clean augers, clean shovels, etc. to harvest your hemp with.

Make sure that the bin you plan on storing your hemp in is well cleaned out.

Prevent bird or mouse droppings, rust, mold, residual grain or dirt from contaminating your combine, trucks, augers & storage bin.

Do not run your hands through your hemp grain. Use clean scoops, pails & bags to take a representative sample.

Combine hemp when 70-80% of the seeds are ripe & the moisture is 10%-20%. You may find that it is easier to combine when the moisture is high & that you will need to dry your grain. Hemp grain should be stored at 9-10% moisture. A light fall frost before harvest can be helpful in drying your hemp, but be ready to harvest within a few days as it will dry down quickly.

Set your combine for canola to start with & adjust it from there. To avoid wrapping install temporary shields on your combine where the hemp may come in to unnecessary contact with moving parts.

Monitor the grain sample for cracking of the grain.

Do not leave hemp grain sitting in the truck. The high content of green material can start to heat quickly.

Exact drying temperatures will depend on your individual dryer. Turn your hemp often & check your dryer often as hemp may suddenly dry fast near the end of the cycle & can scorch or burn. This is usually caused by the plant matter in the sample.

Aeration with a high air volume can dry hemp in the earlier part of the season, dependant on the weather. Good aeration can hold hemp for a few days until it can be moved into a dryer.

If the hemp has been stored for a period of time, it is difficult to obtain a representative sample by just opening the bottom of a hopper bottom bin. The hemp at the opening is exposed to air & can go rancid from the air that leaks in.

Take a load out of the bin to break up any columns that might have formed in the grain.

Check the top of the bin if aeration has been used. The warm, moist air can cause condensation on the roof which runs down the sides causing mould & other pathogens to form & contaminate the entire bin when it is emptied.

When it is time to ship your hemp, check the top of your bin for a crust, mould or snow before starting your auger. Remove anything that could contaminate the load.

Run your auger slow & full, or use a belt conveyor to avoid cracking your hemp. Don’t move it any more times than necessary.

After harvest submit your Harvest Report to the PIHG office as soon as possible so that we have a clear idea of your inventory.

Contact your cleaner of choice & inform the PIHG office of the arrangements made with the cleaner.

Once your hemp has been cleaned we will need a representative sample of it in order to complete the necessary lab testing on it. This lab testing cannot be completed before your grain has been cleaned & is necessary in order to offer your grain to a buyer. Be patient! We will accommodate everyone as soon as we can.

Pathogens like E. Coli, Fecal Coliforms, & Salmonella are not allowed in the sample as hemp grain is a raw food product. Pathogens thrive in warm moist environment. For this reason it is important to quickly dry hemp to a safe storage moisture. Below is chart that shows the minimum acceptable limits for hemp grain. Excessive levels may cause your grain to be rejected by buyers or may require your grain to need treatment that will reduce quality & price. Hence, the importance of using clean equipment.

Microbiological Limits:

Peroxide ValueLess than 4 meq/kg

Standard Plate Count<100,000 CFU/g

Total Coliforms<1000 CFU/g

Fecal ColiformsNegative=LOD<10CFU/g

E. coliNegative=LOD<10CFU/g


Staphylococcus ANegative

Mold & Yeast<1000CFU/g

GlutenLess than 20ppm

THCLess than 10ppm

Pesticide ResidueNil

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